Stop me if you’ve heard this before, possibly in the exact same way you heard it yesterday: Happy Death Day, opening Friday, is a riff on Groundhog Day, the classic Bill Murray comedy about an arrogant weather man who lives Feb. 2 over and over until he gets it right.

It may sound familiar even if you’re not stuck in your own time loop because this year saw the release of Before I Fall, in which a teenage girl (Zoey Deutch) keeps reliving a day that ends in a tragic car crash; the Netflix debut of Naked, in which a feckless man (Marlon Wayans) keeps waking up naked in an elevator on the morning of his wedding; and the Broadway birth of Groundhog Day, the musical, in which, well, you know. Happy Death Day is the slasher-movie version: A disdainful sorority girl (Jessica Rothe) keeps getting stabbed to death by a masked attacker on her birthday, resetting with every death. She uses this time-loop as an opportunity to track down her killer.

From a creative standpoint, it’s easy to see why this structure has been repeated: The conceptual heavy-lifting has already been done by another movie, but there’s still room for individual invention. Of course, Groundhog Day didn’t invent the idea of getting stuck in a time-loop, but it’s the clear reference point for most of the time-loop movies that have followed — especially in its conceit that reliving the same day over and over should become a vehicle for self-improvement. That’s true of the best Groundhog Day successor Edge of Tomorrow, where Tom Cruise gradually sheds his glib cowardice and becomes a super-soldier as he re-lives a battle with marauding aliens.

Before I Fall and Happy Death Day are notable for refocusing this self-improvement plan on young women. (The most negligible …read more

Source:: The Week – Entertainment

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